Karin Shelley-Martens Gestalt Psychotherapy in East Kent

Covid-19 Policy

Working face to face in the therapy room.

Given that we are all wanting to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, as well as wanting to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, I have developed the following guidelines. Whilst I don’t think that any space can be totally ‘Covid-secure’, I have tried to address potential risks, and would welcome any thoughts about things I may have overlooked. Please read this carefully and, when you wish to undertake to face to face work, confirm that you have read, understood and agree to the measures below.

During practice hours, I will:
•Sanitise my hands at the start of the working day and between sessions.
•Wipe down surfaces, including tables, doors, and any equipment used, at the beginning and end of the working day and between sessions.
•Put a fresh [but not ironed] sheet covering on the couch for every session.
•Weather dependent, have the window open to offer fresh air flow.
•Provide alcohol based hand sanitiser in the therapy room for your use upon arrival.
•Provide paper towels in the bathroom.
•Provide disposable gloves, should you wish to use them.

•When you arrive, I will be waiting in the therapy room, so there will be no need to ring the house doorbell.
•I will see you arrive, so I will deal with the opening and closing of the therapy room door.
•I will provide sanitizer on the table opposite the door for you to use before you sit down.

•At this point in time, I will not ask you to wear a face mask, or wear one myself, but will have some available in the room, if you prefer us to do so.

•In order to retain social distancing of 2 metres without the requirement of masks, I have arranged the couch for you to sit at the end nearer the door.
•There is also the option of the chair on the other side of the door, which is 3 metres apart.

•EMDR buzzers will be sanitised as always, and fitted with a covering that will be disposed of after every use.
•We could also use self-tapping if you prefer not to use any equipment.

•I will have tissues available, but suggest that it would be better for you to bring your own.
•Could you please take used tissues home with you at the end of our session.

Professional Insurance
•My professional insurance has confirmed that they will insure me for face-to face work at this stage, as long as we comply with the government guidelines.

•Bank transfer – Please make the payment to Karin Shelley-Martens, on the day of your appointment and identify yourself with your name or code word if possible.
Sort code: 07 01 16. Account number: 40 353 546.
• If you would prefer to pay by cash or cheque, I would ask that you bring the correct amount if possible and place it in the dish on the table when you sanitise your hands.

What you should do if you are symptomatic:
•If you are experiencing any symptoms, however mild or unwell in any way please do not attend your upcoming appointment. Please let me know as soon as possible that you are cancelling or wanting to either have an online or telephone session.
•If either of us start to show or develop symptoms during the session, we will end the session early and I will waive my fee for that appointment.

Confidentiality & Contact tracing
•Due to the government’s ‘test and trace’ system, if either of us test positive for Covid-19, I may have to disclose the names of individuals I have been in contact with ‘in the public interest’. However, I will only provide the minimum information necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the nature of our contact.
•I will let you know if I have to do so, but by attending face to face sessions you are agreeing that I may do so without an additional signed consent.

What I will do if I am symptomatic:
•I will contact you as soon as possible to let you know if I have to cancel sessions or offer you sessions online or by telephone.
•I will contact you again to let you know when our sessions can resume in person.
I will request a test immediately.
•If I am too unwell to contact you in person, my colleague will contact you to let you know I have become unwell. If I were to be hospitalised or off for an extended amount of time, my colleague will be able to recommend other therapist’s to you. My colleague is also a member of the UKCP and abides to their code of ethics and will respect your confidentiality.

What to do if you or I have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID 19:
•If either you or I are notified that we have been in contact with a person suspected to have COVID 19, it is Government policy to self-isolate for 10 days. In this event, it is our respective responsibility to notify the other of the potential contact and revert to meeting online or telephone for the subsequent 14 days.

Reviewing Procedures:
•The procedures outlined above are subject to change at short notice according to evolving health guidelines. I will keep you updated of any changes.
•Any future lockdowns may require us to stop face to face work again. If that happens, we can discuss our options for continuing, pausing or ending the therapy.

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